Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Arriverdici Rome! Hello Switzerland!

On Friday the thirteenth, we departed Rome.  I am not a superstitious person, but reading Tara's Facebook post about her airline travel troubles seemed to be the start of ours.  

The train from Roma to Milan was fantastic.  We were in First Class, with roomy seats, warm towels and a great lunch.  There were only 7 of us there and we received very personal service.  The views out the train window were beautiful, Italian farm lands, small towns.....

ruins as we leave Rome

Ruins as we leave Rome
Italian country-side

Italian Country side.  The trees in the distance are Umbrella Pines!

Italian Country Side

With the exception of the delay due to an accident, all was wonderful.   We made it to the Milan station in time for our next train. Only to find that train was delayed 25 minutes......then 30 minutes.....then 40 minutes.    

We finally boarded and were assisted by this young man.  He loaded our luggage onto the train and somehow worked some magic and stuffed the two large bags into the overhead bins.  Vince gave him a tip (even though he did not work for the train) and the guy had the nerve to complain about not being able to eat on what we gave him.  Since we were not going to give him more and he did not look like he had missed many meals, we told him that was all and ignored him. 

The train took its time pulling out of the station, and another passenger told us that this was an older train and the air conditioning did not work the last time he took this train.  He was right, there was no air for quite some time!!!  It was hot, so when the attendant came by with water, we bought two for the outrageous price of €8.40!

We seemed to stop at every station along the way, and wait for long periods of time with no explanation as to why.  

As we continued, the air did start to cool the train down some, and we entered the Alps.  Oh, the views!  The photos from the train did not do the scenery justice. 

Did I mention the announcement about needing to get off e train and find one that was going to Zurich?  We understood enough of the announcement in Italian and German (no English!) to seek out more information.  The helpful passenger from earlier confirmed our worries.  This train was stopping in Arth-Goldau  and we needed to find the train to Zurich.  There is one direct route and one that requires another stop. 

Wait, find another train without any further direction?  In a foreign country where we did not speak the language well?  YIKES!!!!

The Swiss are very nice folks.  When we arrived in Arth-Goldau, there was a special train there to take us to Zurich.  Whew!  

Overall, the second portion of our train journey was uncomfortable, but the scenery was beautiful.  

On our arrival in Zurich, it was a short walk for the train station to the St Goddard hotel.  We checked into a great room, with a door that reminded us of a bank vault door.  Then we trekked out in search of dinner.  We first walked back to the train station and checked those places out.  We walked around the block as well, but found nothing satisfactory, so back to the train station we went.  We actually settled into an Italian place and had pizza!  
As this had been a long travel day and we were tired, so back to St Goddards we went.

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